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K. John. Cousin, go draw our puissance together.
[Exit Faulconbridge. France, I am burn’d up with inflaming wrath ; A rage, whose heat hath this condition, That nothing can allay, nothing but blood, The blood, and dearest-valu'd blood, of France.
K. Phil. Thy rage fall burn thee up, and thou
To afhes, ere our blocd fhall quench that fire :
A field of battle. Alarums, excursions : enter Faulconbridge, with Austria's
Faulc. Now, by my life, this day grows wondrous
Some airy devil hovers in the sky,
Some airy devilo] We must read : Some fiery devil, if we will have the cause equal to the effect. WARBURTON.
There is no end of such alterations; every page of a vehement and negligent writer will afford opportunities for changes of terms, if mere propriety will justify them. Not that of this change the propriety is out of controversy. Dr. Warburton will have the devil fiery, because he makes the day hot; the author makes him airy, because he hovers in the sky, and the heat and mischief are natural consequences of his malignity. Johnson.
Shakespeare here probably alludes to the distinctions and divifions of some of the demonologists, so much read and regarded in his time. They distributed the devils into different tribes and clatles, each of which had its peculiar properties, attributes, &c.
Thele are described at length in Burton's Anatomie of Melana choly, part. 1. lect.ii. p. 45. 1632 : • Of these fublunary devils ---Psellus makes fix kinds; fiery,
And pours down mischief. Austria's head lie there; While Philip breathes .
Enter King John, Arthur, and Hubert. K. John. Hubert, keep this boy :-Philip?, make
up; My mother is assailed in our tent, And ta’en, I fear.
Faule. My lord, I rescu'd her; Her highness is in safety, fear you not: But on, my liege; for very little pains Will bring this labour to an happy end. [Exeunt.
Alarums, excursions, retreat. Re-enter King John, Elinor,
Arthur, Faulconbridge, Hubert, and Lords. K. John. So shall it be ; your grace shall stay behind,
aeriall, terrestriall, watery, and fubterranean devils, besides those faieries, fatyres, nymphes, &c."
“ Fiery ipirits or divells are such as commonly worke by blazing starres, fire-drakes, and counterfeit sunnes and moones, and fit on ship's maits, &c. &c." “ Aeriall spirits or divells are such as keep quarter most part
in the aire, cause many tempests, thunder and lightnings, teare oakes, fire steeples, houses, strike men and beasts, make it rainę stones, &c." PERCY.
2 Here Mr. Pope, without authority, adds from the old play already mentioned:
" Thus hath king Richard's fon perform'd his vow,
“ Unto his father's ever-living soul.” STEEVENS. 3 Philip,-] Here the king, who had knighted him by the name of Sir Richard, calls him by his former name. Mr. Tyrwhitt would read :
Hubert, keep (thou) this boy, &c. STEEYENS.
So strongly guarded.--Cousin, look not sad:
Arth. O, this will make my mother die with grief,
the fat ribs of peace Muft by the hungry now, be fed upon :] This word 120iu seems a very idle term here, and conveys po fatisą factory idea.' An antithefis, and opposition of terms, fo perpetual with our author, requires :
Must by ibe hungry war be fed upon, War, demanding a large expence, is very poetically said to be hungry, and to prey on the wealth and fat of peace. WAR EURTON,
This emendation is better than the former, but yet not neces. fary. Sir T. Hanmer reads, hungry maw, with less deviation from the common reading, but with not so much force or elegance as war. Johnson.
Either emendation is unneceffary. The hungry now is this hungry infant. Shakespeare perhaps uses the word nor as a sub, Itantive, in Measure for Measure:
till this very now,
I meet with the fame expression in Ram-alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:
56 I'll have a priest shall mumble up a marriage
(If ever I remember to be holy)
Eli. Farewel, gentle cousin.
[Exit Faulc. Eli. Come hither, little kinsman; hark, a word.
[Taking him to one side of the fiage. K. John. Come hither, Hubert. O my gentle Hu
Hub, I am much bounden to your majesty.
- full of gawds,] Gawds are any showy ornaments. So, in the Dumb Knight, 1633
and with vain gauds " Trick up his coffin." STEEVENS. ? Sound on unto the drowsy race of night;] We Mould read": Sound one WARBURTON.
I should suppose found on (which is the reading of the old copy) to be the true one. The meaning seems to be this; if the midnight bell, by repeated frokes, was to bafien auay the race of beings who are
If this same were a church-yard where we stand,
busy at that hour, or quicken night itself in its progress, the morning bell (that is, the bell that strikes one) could not, with strict prapriety, be made the agent; for the bell has ceased to be in the service of night, when it proclaims the arrival of day. Sound on has a peculiar propriety, because by the repetition of the strokes at twelve, it gives a much more forcible warning than when it only strikes one.
Such was once my opinion concerning the old reading; but on re-confideration, its propriety cannot appear more doubtful to any one than to myself.
It is too late to talk of hastening the night when the arrival of the morning is announced; and I am afraid that the repeated Strokes have less of folemnity than the fingle notice, as they take from the horror and awful filence here described as so propitious to the dreadful purposes of the king. Though the hour of one be not the natural midnight, it is yet the most folemn moment of the poctical one; and Shakespeare himself has chosen to introduce his Ghost in Hamlet:
6. The bell then beating one." Mr. Malone observes, “ that one and on, are perpetually confounded in the old copies of our author." STEEVENS.
-broad-ey'd] The old copy reads_brooded. Mr. Pope made the alteration, which, however elegant, may be unneceffary. All animals while brooded, i. e. with a brood of young ones under their protection, are remarkably vigilant. The King says of Hamlet:
-something's in his foul **O'er which his melancholy fits at brood.” STEEVENS.